Stokes keen to bounce back from World T20 setback


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Ben Stokes, the England allrounder, acknowledged that he's devastated after the ICC World Twenty20, 2016 final against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With West Indies needing 19 runs off the final over, the pacer conceded four consecutive sixes, to Carlos Brathwaite, as Darren Sammy's men snatched the title from England.

"I thought, 'I've just lost the World Cup'. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to do," he told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday (April 7). "It took me so long to get back on my feet. I didn't want to get back up. It was like the whole world had come down on me. There weren't any good things going through my mind. It was just complete devastation."

Stokes had to shrug off the disappointment and walk out for the presentation ceremony after a horrific experience. The allrounder admitted he didn't want to show how disappointed he was and wanted to keep his head up. "For about 40 minutes at the end of the game I knew I just had to deal with it," he said. "I had to come back out on the field, collect my medal and listen to all the speeches. I knew the cameras would be all over me to see how I was. Obviously, I was gutted but I did not want to show that. I wanted to keep my head up."

Soon after the match got over, Chris Jordan ran towards Stokes to console him as he sank to his knees. Eoin Morgan, the England captain, was supportive as well in the post-match presentation. Here's how Stokes felt in his own words.

"It is probably only now really that all the emotions have started to come out about it," said Stokes. "I couldn't reflect on it at the time. There was just shock. But I said to Morgy [Eoin Morgan] afterwards that I was more nervous bowling the last over of the semifinal than I was in the final. Maybe it was from the confidence of doing it plenty of times before. That was how I felt before the over. After the over, I was devastated and you could see that from the pictures.

"The team and management are very quick to be very supportive of you in those situations. But they couldn't really say anything to make me feel much better. They gave me a hug and said 'It's all right mate'. There wasn't really much more they could say at the time. Disappointment is the biggest emotion now. I remember getting the medal and thinking it's just a runners-up medal. You don't want it. You want the winner's medal but then later we had two hours in the changing room and all the lads had medals around their neck and we were saying nobody can take this moment away from us. We played for our country in a World Cup final. Let's be proud of that.

"Setbacks make you want to be better again. This will be in my mind for quite a long time and I will reflect on it for a long time. It will be a little bit of motivation to make sure this does not ever happen again. So train 10 minutes longer every now and again to get better. The support from everyone has been amazing. I reckon I get more abuse when I do well than I did on that night. It is strange. That is when I realised how much we have made England proud. It took us to lose to get everyone to say how proud they are of us and what we achieved. I think if it had been the other way around, we might not have appreciated it as much."

Stokes revealed that England felt they were at least 30 runs short even after Joe Root revived the innings after early blows. "It didn't spin, it was a flat wicket and boundaries were not the biggest, so we knew we were 30-40 runs short," he said. "But we knew we could get them on the back foot if we took wickets, which is what we managed to do. Then we got down to the last over and that was the worst passage of cricket I played throughout the whole World Cup.

"People have been hit for 19-20 an over before. It is not the first time and won't be the last, so not for one second was I walking to my run-up thinking '19, this is all over'. I knew all it would take is two big hits and it is game on again. I was just thinking about me, what I wanted to do. I knew if I got six yorkers in the block hole, they were only going to get eight or nine runs maximum and we would win."

Carlos Brathwaite was full of praise for the England allrounder after the final and Stokes gushed that the West Indies power-hitter is a 'brilliant lad'. "We did not have a beer with them afterwards but Brathwaite came up to me and asked for a shirt," revealed Stokes. "He is a brilliant lad. I wanted to make sure I spoke to them and say 'well done' because I did not want people to think I was bitter.